Avoid the Back to School Shopping Blues
Oh! It’s that time already? Summer is almost over and August is fast approaching. Welcome back to school and the most important part of the it- Back to School Shopping! Every year, parents and children scramble around stores trying to purchase the latest and greatest supplies. According to a study by the National Retail Federation, total spending for K-12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $82.8 billion, nearly as high as last year’s $83.6 billion. That’s unbelievable! With all the different supply lists and sale catalogs, back to school shopping can get a little exhausting. Try not to feel overwhelmed thinking about all those pens and pencils and notebooks! We’ve got you covered. Practice these Wealthy Habits and save money on Back to School shopping this year.
First, review your kid’s stuff in their drawer or backpacks and see if your child has any old school supplies that can still be used. You’ll be surprised by the amount of forgotten things like pens, markers, and notebooks! Take an inventory.
Also, check your kid’s clothing, uniforms and shoes. Have them try it on and see what needs to be replaced and toss or donate those they have outgrown. Next, write down a list of the things you need to buy in store. This will save you money and time, why? You will know what exactly your kids need and you will be able to stick to your list and shop swiftly with an organized mind-set.
Comparison shop! You might want to look at online stores and compare them with local store flyers before you head out to shop. Since you have a list of the things you need to buy, you can create columns on your list and jot down the different prices of each item you found online. Compare the numbers to see where you can save money and voila! Savings! Also, take some time to look up which stores are offering the best sales. Download the Ebates app and get cash back when you shop online. You can find coupons and save with online rebates, deals, promo codes and discounts on it! Another strategy you can utilize for online stores is price matching! Download the Amazon App, and use it to scan the barcodes of the item at your local store and see whether it is cheaper online. Then march to the customer service to request a price match. Check out these 12 stores that price match Amazon and other online retailers.
Before buying high-priced items like calculators and computers, check out your kid’s school supply list to see if these items are even required. According to a study by Deloitte, college-age students tend to spend more on electronics, textbooks, and dorm room gear. With an average spend by category buyer of $284, clothing needs across elementary to college students remain one of the top scorer in the spending category. One way to save money on school clothes is to sign up for text and email coupons before going out to shop. Search for stores that will give you discounts when you sign up for their email, joining in their loyalty programs, or for creating a profile in that store online. You can definitely get around 10%-25% off coupons with these!
Backpacks need to be durable. Although an inexpensive one may survive the first few months of school, it will be falling apart by the end. Before you know it, you will end up buying another one, and those two purchases may be just as costly, or even more, than a quality bag upfront. Use this same rule for many other supplies. Buy backpacks, plastic folders and binders that will surely last a year as a wise choice to save money. Also, make sure your kid’s backpack is comfortable to use – wide, with padded shoulder straps and back, to prevent injuries and joint problems. Consider buying a rolling backpack for your kid if he or she will be carrying heavy load.
School has a way of bringing us all together. Whether it be in pursuit of the greatest sale or the greatest education, we all want the best. At Wealthy Habits, we provide the greatest in financial literacy education for kids and teens. Have you read our article on What Your Teen Needs to Know? Before heading out for back to school shopping, read the blog and have a seat with your kids to discuss how you can both prioritize and make wise financial decisions in the stores! But how about you? Do you have a Back to School Shopping strategy you would like to share? Please share with us in the comments below, so we can all have a great experience this year. Happy Shopping!